Letting Go of Anger

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Dear Dr. Darcy:

How do I cope with feelings of resentment towards my husband? I feel like I love him and would be miserable to divorce him but even when we are doing well I have an underlying anger towards him because I can't seem to get past issues and feel closure.

ANSWER

You can’t cope with feelings of resentment.  You need to exorcise yourself of them.  If coping worked, you’d be fine by now.  So how do you rid yourself of anger and resentment?

Forgive.  It’s as simple and as overwhelming as that. If you don’t forgive, you’re the one who has to contain the resentment; the person who will be most deeply affected by the poison that negative feelings cause.  The problem is, at some level you believe you’re punishing him for whatever wrongs he committed.  And as you begin to contemplate letting go of the anger, you’ll realize that you feel as though you’re letting him off the hook by forgiving him.  But it’s an irrational belief – he is not being punished by your anger.  You are.

Forgiveness is not for the faint hearted.  It is a very challenging process, one that can be made easier if you do it with a therapist who will hold you accountable for moving through the steps of forgiveness.  I personally set out on this journey back in January of this year and am almost done and it’s made a vast difference in the quality of my life.

Forgiveness is a superpower.  Once cultivated, you will have the ability to set yourself free from any negative feeling.  Imagine if your quality of life were not contingent on the world treating you fairly, rather, on choosing to flex your forgiveness muscle... That's what you'll have  when you do this.  You owe it to yourself to develop this emotional muscle.  Get yourself a book called Forgiveness Is A Choice (linked to here) and begin healing today.

Writer's stats: Female, Straight.